Everyday we use applications that leverage predictive analytics to provide us with meaningful content, help us buy product, or protect us from spam. Here are 5 common yet relatively unnoticed uses in our daily lives.
1. Google Suggest
Google has simplified online search and made it accessible to the masses. Google Suggest – that drop down list you see below the search input box once you start typing– leverages predictive Analytics to give out query recommendations in real-time. Initially intended to help auto-complete the URL as a user types in the browser location box, Google eventually ported the technology to Google search itself, saving users a lot of time while searching.
2. Facebook’s News Feed
In the early days of Facebook, the Newsfeed had all updates from your friends in chronological order. Today, the Newsfeed prioritizes updates from your closest friends and family over others. Facebook uses predictive Analytics to determine which stories you will be most interested in based on who you connect with most frequently and which stories they are viewing.
3. Email Spam Filtering
Spam filtering applications have been employing predictive analytics for some time now. When Gmail launched back in 2004 it was lauded for its exceptionally better spam filtering. Spam is a major concern for email users. When dealing with spam, email service providers need to not only filter out spam email, but ensure the spam filters don’t catch false positives.
4. Amazon Product Recommendations
Have you ever gotten lost in product research on Amazon.com, jumping from one product to another, comparing one list with another, in a seemingly endless maze of products? This addictive shopping experience is due to the smart work of Amazon in the background where they’ve perfected the art of cross-selling.
Amazon’s recommendations are made in many contexts such as the item page, checkout page, search results page, an extremely customized home page, and even via email promotions. These recommendations are based on aggregate data for tons of transactions, and user behavior.
5. Behavioural Advertising
Advertising platforms are ever in the search of a better way to target ads to their user base. Be it Google with AdWords, Facebook with their ads within the News Feed, or advertising startups like UberAds. Behavioral advertising is still in its infancy, and is set to mature a lot in future.
These are just 5 and there are obviously many more examples of how predictive analytics have become common place in our daily activities online. Next time you click a button, or swipe the menu, give some thought to the model, metric and algorithms taking place behind the screen.